Thursday, 16 February 2017

Thursday, or Thereabouts - February 16, 2017

I'm with the Robins and the Blue Jays

It's a brilliant bitter day in the land outside my door. Just -15°C (all of 5°F!) out there first thing this morning, with a wicked wind threatening to rip my face off. Hard to believe that today I have to dress like this...

...and by Saturday, I'll be thinking more along the lines of this (IF the forecast of +12°C holds!)

Just what season are we in? Well the prognosticating groundhog in Wiarton, Ontario announced two weeks ago that it's Spring. What followed in the days since February 2, was not consistent with that pronouncement. And yet, yesterday, who did I spy in the red pines outside my kitchen windows? Not one but three robins!

I grabbed the closest camera to click off a photo. Not the greatest shot but enough to confirm the bird.

Before I could get the telephoto mounted on my camera, the three of them took off. They headed NORTH.  I switched out the regular lens for the telephoto, so I'd be ready to catch them the moment they came south again. I then wasted the rest of yesterday afternoon looking out the windows, all of them around the house, scanning the trees for what I was sure would be a hasty return. Alas, I only found a black-capped chickadee and a slate-coloured junco hiding in the trees...

...but the robins' visit was the talk of the town.

I should have been writing. Though it's often said that we writers are a privileged group of folks who can be hard at work while staring out the window, I truly can't use that claim today.

No, I was looking for birds and when I wasn't doing that, I was consulting the fount of all knowledge, Dr. Google, for advice on what to feed robins who arrive when the ground is still blanketed in thick snow.

Berries are the answer. There are lots of sumac trees here and they are loaded with red berries ripe for the picking.

This guy from last year (March 25/16 - more than a month later than this week's visitors) knew about the treasures of the sumac tree.

So, maybe the robins and the groundhog know something?

After all, spring training in the Grapefruit league begins in just a week. Our Toronto Blue Jays arrived in Dunedin on Valentine's Day and will take to the mound next Saturday in Atlanta.

The boys of summer are warming up, the robins are here and the groundhog has spoken.

Winter is gone.
Winter is gone.
Winter is gone, gone, gone.

©2017 April Hoeller


  1. At least the sun was shining, April! It has been in the 50s here so it feels like Spring. Plus with spring training won't have long to wait! Nice post.

    1. Thanks, Susan. Today (Saturday) it is already +13°C (55°F) with brilliant sunshine and the constant pitter-patter of snowmelt. My windows are open and the flies are basking on the deck. Winter melting away.